Simple Tips to Follow to Ensure Maximum Mobility and Pain-Free Joints
The temperature is about to drop here in the Midwest, which means that many Wichita residents will notice an increase in joint pain and stiffness throughout the duration of winter. For those who are wondering why weather affects joints, it’s because the barometric pressure causes the tissues of the joint to expand slightly, which results in pain and discomfort. Although this is a common occurrence, that doesn’t mean it’s any less painful for those who may be concerned about their joint health.
The bad news is that cold weather-related joint pain is something that Wichita residents will have to deal with for the next few months. The good news is that there are many holistic and at-home methods that people can use to decrease their joint pain and maintain their overall joint health. The following are seven tips and best practices you can use to find joint pain relief.
#1 – Layer Up
One way to ensure that you minimize the amount of cold weather-related joint pain is by layering up. The warmer that you can keep your joints, the less likely the tissues in your joints will expand. Remember to account for your knees, elbows, and hands. A thick pair of gloves and long johns can go a long way in keeping your joints pain and stiffness-free.
#2 – Watch Your Weight
Nothing puts additional pressure on your joints like excessive body weight. If you’ve noticed that your weight is outside the ideal range and you’re also suffering from knee pain, it’s very likely that these two things are related. Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix for this. If you want to lose weight and regain your joint health, diet and exercise is the only way to go. Otherwise, the condition of your knees may degrade over time, which may result in needing arthroscopic surgery or inpatient total knee replacement surgery.
#3 – Keep Active and Moving
Although it may be tougher to do during the cold winter months, getting out and being active is critical for your short- and long-term joint health. If you’re already suffering from joint pain, you can improve your situation through light to moderate exercise. Don’t feel like you have to run a marathon. A simple 20-to-30-minute brisk walk on the treadmill and some resistance band exercises will get your joints moving well.
#4 – Use Correct Posture
With many people working remotely, several folks in the Wichita area have set up either home offices or a designated space in their kitchen or living room. If you’ve been noticing joint pain or pain in your lower back, that might be the result of bad posture or improper sitting (ex: putting pressure on the knee/ankle by folding one leg under the other). This is especially true for those who are working from the couch, or who are using a chair that is not ergonomically correct. Make sure that your office furniture is up to par and that you are always sitting with correct posture.
#5 – Eat a Healthy Diet
Nothing influences joint health quite like a healthy diet. Make sure to incorporate foods that build strong muscles such as lean proteins. You’ll also want to incorporate foods that include calcium and vitamin D; they promote strong bones. Additionally, foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish, will help reduce joint inflammation.
#6 – Avoid Taking on More Than You Can Handle
As previously mentioned, nothing puts more pressure on the joints than excessive weight. If you happen to find yourself carrying excessively heavy objects in your personal life or as part of your job, try to find a way to avoid doing that. Carrying excessively heavy loads can ultimately wind up hurting you and your joints in the long run.
#7 – Use At-Home Methods of Treatment
If you are consistently experiencing joint pain, stiffness, or discomfort, try utilizing a heating pad applied directly onto the joint to find relief. Additionally, you can try over the counter medications such as ibuprofen to ease the pain and help with joint inflammation.
When to See a Doctor for Advanced Orthopedics
If you are suffering from joint pain, stiffness, or lack of mobility due to arthritis, trauma, or other reasons, don’t hesitate to reach out to an orthopedic doctor to get their professional opinion on the matter. Although many joint issues at this time of year can be attributed to cold weather conditions, many others have non-weather-related sources. By getting an examination from an orthopedic doctor, they will be able to tell you the root cause of your condition and put you on a treatment plan so that you can reclaim your quality of life.
Additionally, if you’ve been searching for an orthopedic surgeon near you that can perform arthroscopic surgery, total knee replacement surgery, or similar procedure – the doctors at Mid-America Orthopedics have decades of combined experience. We also provide physical therapy services, sports medicine, and athletic training.